Early lead not enough as Western falls to Eastern, 14-4

Box Score

DANBURY, CT (Apr. 17) The first four batters all scored for the Western Connecticut State University baseball team in the bottom of the first to give the Colonials an early 4-0 lead over visiting Eastern Connecticut State University, but the Warriors scored the game’s final 14 runs to claim a 14-4 Little East Conference victory over Western Tuesday afternoon at Westside Field on Saturday afternoon.

After Eastern went quietly in the first with Western starter David Alarcon (Plymouth, CT) recording two strikeouts, Western batted around in the bottom of the first.  Junior Chris Alberto (Trumbull, CT) led off with a single to deep short, and senior Mike Yates (Guilford, CT) followed with a double down the line in right.  After a walk and an error, senior David Simone (Danbury, CT) doubled to knock in two runs and give Western an early 4-0 lead.  After the next Western batter walked to put runners on first and second with no outs, the next three Colonial batters went down in order to close out the first with a 4-0 Western lead.

In the top of the second, the first two Eastern batters reached safely on a walk and a single by senior Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA), but Alarcon got the next three Eastern batters to go quietly, keeping Eastern off the scoreboard.  Alberto led off the bottom of the second with a single for Western, but the Colonials failed to capitalize and the score remained 4-0 after two.

In the top of the third inning, three of the first four Eastern batters singled to score the Warriors’ first run.  With two out and runners on second and third, Cammuso doubled over the head of Yates in center field, to narrow the Western lead to 4-3.  A deep fly to left ended the Eastern threat with Western holding a one-run lead, and when the Colonials went down in order in the bottom of the third, the score remained 4-3.

In Eastern half of the fourth inning, a Western error kept the Warriors alive with two outs.  Junior Mike Riemer (Ellington, CT) singled to put runners at the corners, but junior Joe Balowski (Berlin, CT) quickly deposited the ball over the fence in right for a 6-4 Eastern lead.  In the bottom of the fourth, the first two Western batters went down quickly, before Alberto hit his third consecutive single on a liner to center field.  When Yates was out on a close play at first, the fourth inning ended with Eastern still leading 6-4.

After a nice defensive play by Western third baseman Tim Nelson (Manchester, CT) on Eastern’s leadoff batter, the Warriors used three singles and an error to chase Alarcon from the game and add two runs for an 8-4 lead in the top of the fifth.  In the bottom of the fifth with one out and a runner on first base, Simone struck out and senior Zack Dandrea (Wanaque, NJ), who was running on the pitch, was gunned down at second to end the Western fifth.

Western sophomore right-hander Nick Vig (Monroe, CT), who replaced Alarcon in the fifth, kept Eastern in check in the top of the sixth, but Western went down in order in their half of the sixth to keep the score 8-4.

After getting the first two Eastern batters in the seventh, back to back walks and throwing error on a failed pickoff play at first put Warrior base runners at first and third with two outs.  Eastern added to its lead when Western’s junior catcher Matt Rosbrough (Ansonia, CT) overthrew second base attempting to prevent a stolen base, giving Eastern a 9-4 lead.  Three straight ground-outs to the left side of the Eastern infield put the Colonials down in order and the seventh ended 9-4.

Back to back singles and a successful bunt attempt put Eastern runners at second and third with one out, and an intentional walk to Cammuso loaded the bases.  Pinch hitter sophomore Mitch Plourde (Ellington, CT) drew a walk to score one Eastern run, another Western error scored a second, and a single by freshman Armando Soler (Hartford, CT) pushed in a third run.  Leadoff hitter sophomore Adam Roderick (West Harford, CT) then hit a double down the line in left to score two more Eastern runs for a 14-4 Warrior lead.  A strikeout and a grounder to short ended the Eastern rally.  Western continued to struggle at the plate, and the score remained 14-4 at the end of eight.

In the top of the ninth, Western got Eastern out in order for the first time in the game, and then used singles by Rosbrough and Alberto to put two men on with two outs in the bottom of the frame.  A fly ball to center field end Western’s final at-bat, and Eastern claimed the 14-4 victory over Western.

Eastern Connecticut 14, Western Connecticut 4
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Eastern Connecticut. 003 320 150  - 14 15  1      (21-6, 6-2 LEC)
Western Connecticut. 400 000 000  -  4  7  6      (10-17, 1-7 LEC)
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Pitchers: Eastern Connecticut - Jim Dimon; Brent Pelella(8); Michael Hepple(9).
Western Connecticut - Dave Alarcon; Nick Vig(5); Zack Taylor(8); Joe Fedak(8); Rob Valunas(8). Win-Jim Dimon(2-0)  Loss-Dave Alarcon(0-1)  T-3:00  A-100
HR ECSUBB - Joe Balowski.